The direction for this installation has gotten me thinking about what it is I want to showcase in this work. Originally the idea I wanted to tangle with, was the notion that technology goes back and forth in iteration, in design, in trends and in functionality. I like the idea that the departure point for this last project was “futures”, and my immediate response was to showcase something that’s framed in the past. I think this is the basis of the work I want to display.
As non-human object, the technological devices we carry everyday constantly run at a pace determined by us. That, meaning they’re only function is determined by our use of them. Autonomy within them are seemingly not far away with the small increments being added to smartphones, however we can still choose most of their function. The thing that is seemingly out of our control though now is the way they’re manufactured to be replaced by the next evolution of the same thing. This leads most to expect another criticism of Apple, however I want to go perhaps a little more broad with examples like the Record – MixTape – CD – MP3 evolution. Or the Film – VHS – DVD – Streaming trajectory of technology that include perhaps require a whole new hardware component to access content. Without discouraging the thought of this, nowadays this seems to have come t a relatively smaller halt, but the upgrades coming WITHIN the device, as a software update.
Consumers now are faced with a device that is in perfectly fine working order, in that it turns on, runs and connects them to content at a leisure. However to gain more or perhaps the most recent available services, the individual must update the device. NOTE: I’m going to be using the smart phone/tablet for this example as it is the most relatable for me. Once the software is updated, the phone has basically been given a no returns sentence. The update is designed to target newer app downloads, but also “laggs” the phone, decreases its swift functionality and tells the story of the device ultimately needing an upgrade.
Something this week that I want to explore is perhaps the trail effect or reckless understanding we have of this. Using the devices from my past, as a reminder of how much this trend of keeping updated and connected, leads to a media archeology of functioning devices that are tossed aside. Perhaps we wish we could stick to the one mobile phone or the one DVD player, but industry doesn’t allow us to. There’s possibility for batteries in devices to last 3 weeks, however corporate bosses don’t allow this to happen. Is there humanity to these devices that ultimately leads to its era ending?
This week we had a guest lecturer, artist-in-residence Warren Leung, thus, “His reflective practice combines historical exploration with conceptual inquiry within a contemporary urban landscape.is site-specific project was featured in the first Hong Kong pavilion at the Venice Biennale in 2001. His works have been exhibited in major international museums and institutions including Tate Modern in London, NRW Forum in Dusseldorf, Museu da Imagem e do Som in São Paulo and biennales in Shanghai, Busan and Manchester.” To visit some more of this interesting work, click here
This got me thinking, I need to become more invested in online presence, and professional practise requires more than a blog. I started brainstorming ideas as to what it is exactly I wanted to showcase myself as a media and communications practitioner. Was is simply drone video? Was it something more broad in the technology field? Was it a service? The tutors discussed the means of being not only a decent craftsman, but also a decent human. This resonated with me, as it was refreshing to think people skills and face value was still important in a creative practise.
Brainstorming ideas about possible themes on my professional portfolio
This has prompted me to look into paying for a professional domain and create a platform of showcased work in a collective portfolio. This also works into the first assessment task, and gives me a chance to take control over a domain to give potential future work collaborations a chance to see what my personal and unique creative style is.
Introducing theory, practise, research, art, media and technology into one collective group I believe allows us to draw connections and trajectories between works of art, innovation modules and indeed continue an obligation to broaden the limits for the future.
Firstly, I participated in an activity to draw an draw out or map our thoughts within a Venn Diagram. We split the categories three ways: Research, Craft and Art. With these the base headings, we wanted to discuss how some technologies and works we’ve created in the past fit into some, one or all of these.
The three categories were filled with words or thought stimulators we could come up with. We ultimately decided that if dwelled on for long enough, each of the examples provided could actaully weave their way into all the categories. Which meant we had to be really specific with out choice of examples. For instance, if we say “technology” as a whole, it can definitely be talked about in a Research, Craft and Art bias but when naming a specific technology like VR/AR or 3D Printing, we then have to think about its position in these categories relevant to the time period.
This then lead into a mode of generalised thinking;
Research – Documentation, theory, PAST TENSE, things shaping ideas that have already happened and are revisted for further understanding
Craft – Practical, Skill based, materialistic, for me the act of “doing” could even be placed here. For example, the act of deciding to create or develop, that intrinsic thought applied to turning ideas into a reality.
Art – “the Grey area”, possible outcomes, aesthetic?, subjective, passion
For my own benefit and area of practise, I decided to take the controversial topic of Drone technology and try and outline their significance in each of these categories with an example of the above. I love the conversation this kind of thinking evokes, and how innovation can be seen as an artwork, or someones craft can pave the way for further research. This has happened with me. A lot of my projects have stimulated my own research into drone application for jobs to help people or solve outdated problems. Though indefinite, my research isn’t exactly “aesthetic” or probably wouldn’t be considered by most as an Art piece, doesn’t mean it couldn’t be. A device that provokes discussion for me means that it has potential. When the technology becomes a realistic everyday norm that’s when it gets succeeded.
Examples I want to share and build on the idea of specific pieces of work from drone technology, rather than the broad field they offer.
Next week, I’m excited to dive into the “futures” topic, and further develop this idea of connected links between craft and theory, and how some of the practises I’m involved with had elements of Research, Craft and Art mixed to create a prototyping idea through media art and communications applied to a new area of study in engineering.
Today was our last day to nail it. I believe we did.
We re-made the spiral pages with premium cardboard paper with the cut out poem attached.
Ironed the sheets that covered our furniture so that the medium we’re using was a professional quality. The furniture that made the cut were a door, single chair, two tables and props sources from op shops that gave a homely feel. The lights we’re using are a mix of flood lights with a red gel on them and ambient light from the room and projectors. We sported the idea of using a lamp but found that it was too much interfering with the others.
We decided the projector on the floor for the start of the spiral was out of place and the position of the actual subject itself was wrong, so we went back to the original location and used a LED screen to loop the poem for he start. We also uses photo frames for the remaining cut outs of paper and formed a strange dialogue with the paper to have some kind of urgent vacation feel to the whole room.
I particularly like the accidental features of our work, not least the idea of words spilling from a cup due to a break (this represents the hardship showcasing emotion through the poems and the words that are central to this idea). This was both an aesthetic pleasure and a great utilisation of the space we were allocated.
The time and effort has been challenging this semester, especially with the size of our groups and the amount of creative input from every member. This has definitely been an iterative process and the theme of the whole work I believe we’ve narrowed down through the use of revisiting departure points and feedback from the year group and tutors alike. Some of the physical skills that i’ve improved in a media arts sense has been really beneficial, and the time given to us to work on this project has been a credit.
Tomorrow we go live.
What made these people leave?
Fathom how extreme the world would have been, to which they were forced to flee.
The intent behind their doings.
Society now, after the journey.
Sonnys suggestion about possible departure points**
The week off for a study recess however we as a group knew we still had work to do as a collective to get this ready for presentation, so we came in anyway and continued our good run from the previous week.
We spent the majority of this week making sure the furniture was exactly where we wanted it. The double sofa was alright but used a lot of space and by feedback we kinda got the vibe that it crammed everything into a corner and didn’t allow the audience to walk around the central subject. We tried a variety of abstract type set ups as well with some of the furniture, for example, Chloe tried hanging the chairs from the ceiling with rope, however, it was effective as an aesthetic but not so much creating the story or setting up a conversation between the materials. For this reason we decided to not add anything too dramatic, but to effectively place what we do have so that the space felt like it was coming forward to the audience.
The TV screens that we toyed with for a few weeks (that had the static and short video edits by Sonny and David) were no longer serving the story we wanted to inspire to the responders. We did decide to use our original intention of a projection, this time an outside coloured window straight onto the wall. This will allow our digital intentions survive the installation, whilst not creating a medium that will loose audience attention of the room. We really wanted to utilise the space and perhaps create a feeling of emptiness (using the colour white) inside and showcase the colour and urgency to get out (showcased by the colour of the window)
Sonny agreed to chat with his family to gain some content for the spiralling papers up the ceiling for weeks leading into the showcase. I believe this contextual heavy subject will only gain authenticity with these actions and provide an overarching theme to the work. Perhaps even include these findings on the paper scrolling up the work in the middle. I want to look into this being the overall theme of the works, the story starting on the ground with the original text for the responder to see, and as it goes up the paper, it slowly gets more around the room so that the story “comes to life”. We’ll see if this can be explored deeper in the next 2 weeks. Perhaps we look at the idea of it ending as it moves out into the space so that then we eventually “reconfigure storytelling” from two physical mediums, paper and space.
This week we kind of began in a place that for the first time in the semester we thought we had something decent to work with. Perhaps the split of the group had something to do with this, which is what we utilised from the week before.
The dual projector idea last week was scrapped. Based on feedback we needed to work on something absent or like a eerie feel of loss, so the idea of a room in the middle of an event that someone had basically had to get up and leave was the strongest. First thing was first however, we had to get rid of the typewriter on the LED screen. It was something we kind of found a way to showcase throughout all of the iterations because we thought it was a strong point or something that was positively commented on, when infact it was the only object that when we changed and ultimately got rid of this week, made us breathe a fresh air sigh. Once this was removed the idea of a lonely homely feel was instantly felt.
David and Sonny continued on their video editing that was going to be showcased at some point throughout the installation on a tv screen somewhere in the room, while the remainder of us cleaned up the space and rearranged some furniture we’d been given access to try and give a sense of habitation at some given point. Chloe had a stroke of genius with a whirling type paper set up that basically started from the ground and wound into the roof and spread wide as it lifted. I found a white door that could be used to really emphasise the idea of stepping into a room and that someone has left in a hurry, and being white, gave us some inspiration as to keep the room the same. We then rigged a light with a singular beam of light using barn doors on the light, down the end of the door to give an illusion that the door is ever so slightly left open with background light seeping through.
The feedback from this week was the most encouraging we’ve received and “most conceptual” we’ve presented. It’s starting to feel more like a story being unfolded into a space which is a really exciting prospect with our overall theme of reconfiguring time and space through storytelling. We tossed up some ideas of this stemming from the pages to the actual room itself. We decided that we were’t going to project onto the white out room as it was simply too hard to perfect and not effective at all if done wrong. For next week, we really wanted to knuckle down that link between the paper the space and the tv screens.
To explore the field of drones/quadcopters historical timeline, military usage of these devices would first have to be taken into account. Their surveillance and autonomous nature as well as the unmanned aspect made them appealing to “spy” on an enemy. Their commercialisation and furthermore “aesthetic” potential only came about in the last decade. Their cinematography capabilities meant they could capture steady visuals of subjects in a bird’s eye view fashion.
Previously this would have been done with an aircraft and some form of SLR camera, now they creative can pilot these devices for the shot.
The first aerial photograph was taken in 1858 by Felix Tournachon, known as Nadar, from a tethered balloon over the Bievre Valley in France (M, Cellania 2007)
Furthermore cameras were attached to various floating vessels such as hot air balloons, kites and remarkably even strapping a small camera with a timed fuse to a pigeon and sending it to the air. Aeroplanes came into the field in 1908 and after this practice, aviation photography boomed for applications such as science, mapping, and military reconnaissance. The photo and video aspects from the air define the commercial aspect of today’s off the shelf drones, their image resolution and steady gimbal design means that professional shots can be taken by amateur filmmakers and photographers.
Recently, the aesthetic of the images the drone can take aren’t the only art works being created with the devices. The physical presence of the device and wonderments associated to flight, hover and autonomous features are being taken into a new possibility. Visually spectualr light shows, LED attachment, long exposure and synced routines to name a few, such as:
These inspiration shots are the types of emerging media art works and installation that is the beginnings of the field I want to investigate. The physical device is now the canvas and whether it’s attachments, or their hovering characteristics to be the subject, the camera is sometimes not even used.
An emerging technology, the practice in media art hasn’t got a great line of historical works, however it can be associated with the following:
These topics are what historically go into the art practise we experience above and it’s a starting mindmap to lead into a practise of applying a field of technology to areas that perhaps wouldn’t initially associate.
Perhaps this exploration will draw some inspiration I had way back in first year when trying to compose a practise for 102, seen here.